As it heads to Netflix, ‘Mudbound’ whips up Oscar buzz with London premiere

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A scene from 'Mudbound.'

An epic racial drama about two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy in the Mississippi Delta after World War II has garnered strong reviews and early Oscar buzz after its European premiere at the London Film Festival last week.

Should “Mudbound” make it to the Academy Awards derby next year, it would be the first Netflix film to bear the Oscar seal of approval.

The film directed by indie darling Dee Rees originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January where it was acquired by the streaming giant for a whopping $12.5 million. That amount exceeded the film’s production budget of $12 million.

“Mudbound” will launch in all Netflix territories on November 17.

Cast members Mary J. Blige and Jason Mitchell, director Dee Rees, and cast member Carey Mulligan pose on the red carpet at the London Film Festival last week. (Photo courtesy of Netflix )

Based on Hillary Jordan’s novel of the same name, it stars Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund, Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke and follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming.

Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry (Jason Clarke), the clan’s leader, his wife Laura (Carey Mulligan) struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige) — fellow sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations — struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face.

The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) and Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.